Real Food Mama

Musings about cooking, eating and everything in between.

Kitchen Remodel makes for interesting cooking! April 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — realfoodmama @ 5:56 pm

This week we have been involved in doing a remodel and repair on our kitchen floor. The house, built in 1946, has stood the test of time and bad home improvement projects proudly, but the floor in the kitchen really needed to be replaced.

Without going into too many boring details about the specifics, we spent a day tearing up three layers of floor until we finally hit the subfloor only to discover that the dishwasher, which was no doubt installed upwards of 15 years ago, has been leaking since then. Luckily, there was no major damage done to the subfloor structure, however it has seriously set us back on our schedule. The consequences? I am now without a stove until this coming Friday.

I imagine this is really going to test the limits of my creativity in terms of crock pot cooking, as that is pretty much the only way my family will get a hot meal in the coming days. We can’t afford to eat out until the stove comes and I wouldn’t want to anyway, as restaurant food is always more expensive and never as good as what I can do at home!

I have a few recipes which I can definitely use for the next two dinners, but after that I may have to improvise. Any and all suggestions are welcome, as I am willing to try most anything! In the meantime, here is one of my favorite, and most simple, crock pot stew recipes:

Crockpot beef stew

1 lb stew beef
2 cups water
1/2 onion with skin
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 small or 2 large potatoes, chopped
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 oz cognac

The instructions are very straightforward. Basically you put everything in the crockpot and cook on the higher setting for 4-6 hours or until the beef has reached the preferred level of tenderness. The real key is to keep the onion skin on the onion, as it imparts better flavor and color to the finished product. I don’t add pepper because my son doesn’t like it, so feel free to add some to your meal if you like. Other suggestions include using a bay leaf to add sweetness or rosemary to add a bit more spice.

Happy Eating and enjoy!